Free onward travel for Ukrainian nationals
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To help Ukrainian nationals travelling to the UK, we are offering free onward travel on our services to get you to a safe place.
To make use of this scheme, you will need to show your Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket showing your arrival into the UK. The offer is valid across all train operators in England, Scotland and Wales, and you will have 48 hours from arrival in the UK to complete your journey.
You will be able to use London Underground/DLR services if your journey requires you to travel between London national rail stations.
Free onward travel for refugees
- We (Government) have a proud history of supporting evacuees, and we want to be as generous as we possibly can.
- Britain’s Train Operators will provide free onward train travel for Ukrainian refugees on arrival in GB’s major ports
- Other transport operators in England will also take part in the scheme including bus, coach, light rail and metro companies where available.
What is the scheme? +
From Sunday 20th March 2022, Rail operators will provide refugees with a single onward journey via national rail free of charge on arrival in Great Britain to their final destination.
They have 48 hours to make their onward journey. They only need to show a Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket showing arrival into the country within the last 48 hours.
Who is eligible? +
Ukrainian nationals who have arrived in the country in the past 48 hours.
How long is it valid for? +
The journey can be claimed within 48 hours of arrival. The initiative will run for three months when the industry will review it.
How will you prevent fraudulent use? +
We perceive the initial fraud risk of this scheme to be minimal as there are only a relatively small number of Ukrainian passport holders currently living in the country.
The initial checks allow us to stand up operations extremely quickly and we will be reviewing the scheme for a longer-term solution.
Are rail staff expected to do the work of border staff? +
No. All visa checks will have taken place during the international leg of the journey, meaning users of the scheme will have already cleared entry controls.
Can users of the offer travel at any time? +
We are recommending that onward travel takes place at off-peak times, however we recognise that this may not always be possible.
How will this impact other rail passengers? +
We do not anticipate any disruption to other passengers but we will monitor the scheme and make any amendments if necessary.
What is the cost? +
This is a cost-neutral initiative which is providing free travel to Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing conflict. The scheme would not see any revenue recorded as refugees would be given a ‘permit to travel’.
How can non-English speaking refugees find out? +
All the information is on National Rail Enquiries - www.nationalrail.co.uk/ukraine, it will be translated to Ukrainian and Russian in due course
What happens when they reach their final destination? +
Many people will be traveling to see family already based in the UK – one of the visa schemes is specifically designed for this purpose. In addition, the Homes for Ukraine scheme will see the British public welcoming refugees into their homes
Why is the scheme not open till Sunday 20th? +
We need to allow time for systems to be finalised and for station staff to be thoroughly briefed on the process. We are also not anticipating significant numbers of refugees arriving into the country in the next couple of days.